Debenhams’ sales growth slows

Suzie Neuwirth

DEBENHAMS today posted flat like-for-like sales growth over the past four months, impacted by weak consumer spending and poor weather.

The British department store group said that online sales had grown strongly however, increasing by 40 per cent over the 16 week period and accounting for 14 per cent of total sales.

In line with previous guidance, the firm is anticipating a flat gross margin performance year-on-year.

“We have managed the business to reflect the market conditions, with a strong focus on stocks, margins and costs,” said chief executive Michael Sharp.

“We are also making good progress on the four pillars of our strategy to build a leading international, multi-channel brand. As a result, at this stage we remain comfortable with the range of market expectations for profit before tax for the year as a whole.”